• Alan Grant

The Tell-Tale Heart Reimagined.

A bright light. A bright light had seized me. And the last image I saw in my final moments as I walked towards that great shining beacon, was of darkness, and that horrible dreadful laugh piercing me on all sides. I was fallen, my paranoia came to claim me at last, for I had sensed this end for many a night, felt a watchful eye for many a sleep, and finally, I had succumbed to a terror that I had convinced myself was only in my mind. It was folly to believe such notions. The terror had been under my very nose, living under my very roof, yet I did not have the foresight to predict such an action, not from him.

Nor could I have predicted the false dawn that was the bright light itself. For it was no salvation, no gateway through to the other side, and no grand calling from God on high. It was simply my introduction to purgatory. For I was still there, in my very chambers, at the scene of the crime, watching. Observing my murderer finish his work. Crying out for any kind of mercy as he dismembered my body piece by piece, arm by arm, leg by leg, and finally the head. He then disposed of seventy-five years of my life under my very floorboards, as if I was nothing but human waste.

A knock came, a late knock. My murderer seemed not bothered by the lateness of the hour and skipped out of the room as light-hearted and chipper as if strolling on a summer’s day. I followed like a dark shadow.

It was the police. Yes, of course, the police would come. As I recall I did let an almighty roar upon my murderer’s entrance to my chambers. Perhaps a neighbour heard my cries of anguish and informed them? Yes, justice had come calling for my assailant, much sooner than he had expected, yet he seemed not to have a care in the world, and here he was on the precipice of discovery. In fact, he smiled, and lead them through the house. So brazen was he not only to commit such a heinous crime, but now he sauntered around my deathbed as if to mock not only my mind, spirit, and body but that of the men who are my only hope for salvation, for peace, and for justice. His arrogance reached such a plateau that he placed his chair over my final resting place as they interrogated, to no avail.

He told lie after lie with the ease of a serpent about my whereabouts until I could take no more.

‘Liar,’ I screamed. ‘Liar’ I repeated, ‘Liar,’ I shouted over and over again until the most remarkable, and unexpected thing occurred. He heard me. He glanced in my direction as if he could see me. As if he was looking right at me. His confidence was shaken. Was there still a part for me to play? I was about to find out. What had I to lose? If the police were so short-sighted to be taken in by this man’s depraved nonchalance, then I had no other recourse but to provide my own justice.

‘Liar,’ I said again. I drew closer to my assailant, sweat was already materializing on his brow. I didn’t see the same confidence. I stood behind him, I too, now stood over the very spot of which my mutilated corpse lay uneasy.

‘Murderer,’ I whispered into his ear. It seemed to produce a remarkable effect, as his voice became more shaken and heightened, his lies beginning to unravel.

‘Murderer, ‘I said again and again and again, louder, bolder, nastier, as if every time he heard the word, the truth would unravel his mind like poison.

So taken was he by my ghostly accusations, that he next stood from his chair and began to speak faster, and with violent gesticulations as if to ward off my voice from beyond the grave. I, like my murderer, gave no surcease. And long did I continue to persecute his mind that he went so far as to fling his chair and scrape it across the boards where I stood, and my body lay, and with one last shriek, confessed to his misdeeds and ripped the boards which had perfectly concealed my decomposing corpse. Indeed, I had torn him down, just as he had done to that alien body that lurked underneath my chamber floor.


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